5 Important Characteristics of a Leader

Outside of our investments, we all should dedicate some time to self-improvement. This article serves to help you grow in your leadership, whether that means with your investment portfolio, your new business initiative, or among your family and friends. Whether you’ve been elected to take the lead on a new project or you’re setting out to start an initiative of your own, you need to build a loyal team that will help you attain your goals.

Where do you start?

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are 5 simple words to help remind you how to build a culture, organize a system, and lead effectively:


We all want to feel like we’re on a level playing field. That’s why dictatorships don’t work. Empower your team members to contribute in whichever way they can. This will give them a sense of ownership of the project and they will be more invested in its success. They will feel like part of a team as opposed to part of the work. Being the leader doesn’t mean giving orders, it means organizing action amongst the team that will yield the most efficient and desired results. It means showing; not telling. More specifically, showing someone a solution that they may not have seen for themselves, which isn’t necessarily unique to yourself as the leader. By empowering your team, you’re empowering them to lead. Eventually, they will likely show you a solution you would not have considered for yourself. When that happens, you know you’ve equalized.


Get to know your team on all levels. The more you and your team understand each other, the stronger your relationship, the better your communication, and the more cohesive you will work together. Understand each person’s personality; their strengths and weaknesses. Learn how different personalities can enhance one another and build a strong team. Understand your team from a work and efficiency stand point, then also implement fun team building activities so that you can also understand each person on a more personal level. Know their likes and dislikes, hobbies, habits, wants and needs. This is how you can come to understand their underlying motivations, justification for their actions, and how to appeal to them during project management. This is also how you build the personal relationship and turn colleagues into friends. In fact, while you’re familiarizing yourself with your team, also take the time to familiarize yourself with…yourself.

Through all of this familiarizing, you will create a strong, unified, and complimentary team ready to take on any project.



Systems can only work efficiently with organization. Most people work best in an organized environment. In an unorganized environment, no one has a clear idea of what’s getting done or how it’s getting done. Chaos ensues and business likely suffers. Put systems in place that organize processes and paint a clear picture for how to repeat desired results. These systems and processes don’t need to be rigid, but they must exist. Allow for criticism or constructive feedback on how to improve the processes or systems, but before that can happen, you must implement. Without systems, you will never scale. Without process, you might strike gold here or there, but you will never remain consistent.



Energy and emotions are contagious. Your employees will adopt whatever mood their peers are in and if you are going to be their leader, that will likely mean they will adopt whatever mood you are in. You have to become the source of positive energy everyone can feed off of. If you get excited about a new product launch, project, or initiative, so will your team members. Like Gretchen Rubin says: Act the way you want to feel. Even if you’re in a sour mood, put a smile on and walk confidently with purpose! Before you know it, everyone around you will be doing the same and you may even find your sour mood has dissipated.



Don’t forget about the team you’ve built. You’ve built a great team, now release them onto the project! You may be the leader, but you’re only one person. Without delegation, you will become encumbered and overworked. Delegate the necessary work to the appropriate team members and let the systems you put in place do their jobs. You should contribute where necessary and step in as the leader when issues arise, but let the project take a life of its own so that you can focus on the bigger picture and organizing the next project.


Keep these few simple action items in the back of your mind and you will continue to be a successful leader. You will increase member engagement. You will increase efficiency. You will increase synergy. You will increase member satisfaction and loyalty. Most importantly, you and your team will accomplish whatever goals you set out to accomplish.

Published by James Thomas Garner

At Marcus & Millichap, James is dedicated to helping investors and principals in the disposition and acquisition of commercial retail properties. Medefind Retail specializes in multi-tenant and single-tenant retail properties, while Mr. Garner specializes specifically in the restaurant net-leased sector. Always a student of the business, James strives to be a leader in industry knowledge and an expert in restaurant net-leased properties. Prior to his focus on single-tenant net-leased food service assets, James had a focus on multi-tenant shopping centers across Florida markets. Mr. Garner's philosophy is in relationships; he believes in Win-Win scenarios. For that reason, James consistently acts as a true advisor to all clients and owners of retail properties. Even if there is no immediate business to be had, James goes above and beyond to offer an unbiased perspective on your investment situation to help you execute on an investment strategy in any capacity that makes sense for you. James is passionate, persistent, and strives to inspire his clients to make critical long term investment choices. As an integral part of Medefind Retail, James aims to integrate a culture that encourages entrepreneurship and innovation allowing for both personal and professional growth for his entire team, which translates to harder work and higher net proceeds for his clients.

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